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WYN Auxiliary Battle Cruiser

Tournament SSD

This ship is also known as the "Aux Box", the WAX (for Wyn AuX), or "The Pig". You can get the idea that this ship has sacrificed away some of it's maneuver ability. People have claimed that this ship is for the reckless captains. The tendency for this ship to anchor is something to be respected by it's opponents.

I am not an Rated Ace player yet, but I have put some serious time into the captain's chair of this ship. Presented here are my thoughts on how to fly this ship. My preference is to fly a more finesse game. As a result, I generally take a of the "dancing" packages (known colloquially as a "Finesse" style for what it demands from it's users to be successful, or more obviously as a "Wear them down" style.) Presented herein are my favorite ones.

The WYN Anchor

The 4 drone racks on this ship, the fact most packages add one or two more seeking weapons to the ship, and coupled with the great power curve (usually about 9 power after housekeeping, speed, and weapons) means that this ship excells at having some startling power levels in tractor beams. Consider anchoring any opponent that gets close. Also expect the opponent to weasel if you get close, to prevent tractors and to take care of any seeking weapons you might use.

Package: Hellbore, Hellbore, B-Rack, B-Rack

This package is designed to create a weak shield on the first battle pass and then pound them as the circumstances allow. I've found that most of the time, the opponent dies when they make some sort of maneuvering error caused by the drones. Not to say the drones were a direct-cause of death - the drones rarely hit except in the very late game - but because they drones wrinkled the opponent into weaselling, moving into the Hellbore arc (in the case of both ships orbiting a common center), painting themselves into a corner, or spending more energy on drone defense than on killing the ship and thereby allowing the Aux to get ahead on the amount of internals caused.

Recipe: The basic recipe for how to allocate and fly this ship is as follows.

Turn 1 Energy Allocation: 37 power generated. 4 to Housekeeping. 20 for speed 30. 6 to keep both of the Hellbores hot.This leaves 7 discretionary power. Make sure you flow at least one impulse into batteries at that speed, so that you can do an unplotted speed-change to 31 if you need the extra move on impulse 17 (such as if he dives real deep into the corner).

I like to overload one hellbore in EA and overload the other from batteries during the turn. This means that if they corner-dodge in such a manner that I can't reach overload range, then I lose only one hellbore from being forced to eject the overloads.

Usually the remaining power is used to power suicide-shuttles and to save a few shield points when we trade shots during the turn.

There are a few variations I use when I need a somewhat stronger brick. A plot useful against drone-heavy races is to go speed 21 with a drop to 20 on impulse 12 (releasing 6 more power than the above allocation, for reinforcement and tractor) so that drones are unlikely to catch up. Another plot, useful against plasma, is to allocate a 20/30 split for about the time I hit overload range (usually about impulse 18-20). This second plot gives you an additional 4 power to use as reinforcement.

Turn 1 Impulse Activity: The basic idea is to get to range 8, fire the hellbores as non-enveloping, turn away, and launch a cloud of drones as soon as the opponent turns to follow. Usually both ships attempt to claim the middle and end up alpha-striking eachother on the #6 from range 8. The direct-fire hellbores (with your phasers) should almost crash his shield, which gives you something to work with next time you have your hellbores. Launching the drones when he follows are to convince him to give you some maneuvering room.

On paper, non-enveloping Hellbores look like a losing proposition. But here they are important for two reasons. #1) Your phasers are usually not going to do enough damage to drop his facing shield below all of the others (and thus be the weakest shield). A canny opponent will use his batteries so the facing shield (usually the 6) will exactly match the other weak shields, and thus compound your error (making it spread between four shields, instead of three). And #2) You want to do significant damage to the facing shield so your later volleys will do internals. Doing 12-18 more damage to the facing shield through half-damage warheads (remember that those warheads round down before combining back into one volley) rather than doing (roughly) 8-10 through enveloping to every shield. Sure, it's nice to damage all of the shields over time so you can hit him with phasers anywhere and hurt him. But you don't have the time or the drones to sandpaper every shield. You need to hit one shield hard, so you can keep hitting it every time you fire the hellbores.

Future Turns Energy Allocation: Speed is a must. You have the same turn mode as the Fed and the ISC, but without the ability to HET. With a speed plot of 30, you can turn 6 times in a turn. This tends to force your opponent to keep his speed high, or else risk allowing you to distance yourself and then bringing your hellbores into arc by the end of the turn. Consider a speed of 21-24 only if power demands are high or you need to turn in a little tighter space (e.g. the tournament barrier), as this means you can turn fewer times.

Generally, your allocation looks like this: 37 power generated. 4 to Housekeeping. 20 for a speed 30. 6 to charge the hellbores or keep them hot. 5 for some combination of phasers or batteries. 2 for keeping suicide shuttles hot, to pump into more batteries/phasers, or to give you a head-start on an anchor.

Future Turns Impulse Activity: "The book" tells your opponent to get behind you because then you are helpless. This is true, except that you are helpless as long as he is not in your forward arc. You need to use your speed to turn around him, because you sure aren't going to HET into him. Alternatively, if your rear shields are up to it, break away from him to range 10-15 and try to turn to face him while he catches up. Then hit him with hellbores.

Use your drones to complicate his movement and force him to open up the range on you. But don't use them simply because it seems good at the time; you only have enough drones for 6 launches, and 6 turns of hellbores (3 firings) will not usually kill him enough to conceed to you. Launch the drones if he turns into you at close range (overload range or closer). If one of you are making a battle pass and are likely to be at very close range, consider anchoring him and feeding him the drones.

It is completely reasonable to launch the drones very late in the turn, in anticipation of a battle pass on the following turn. In this case, it is important to launch them so late that the opponent cannot deal with them during the current turn (e.g. they won't reach range 3 or less to the opponent). This forces him to use his anti-drone techniques on the turn after launch. Then you are free to launch drones again, and the new stack will have a magnified effect on his movement or perhaps even have a few hits.

How to die in this ship: This is a pretty strong ship, mostly because it's very high speeds and it's large drone-launch capability make it hard to get any really good shots to stick. But there are several ways to die with this package.

Knife Fight. The WAX has one of the smallest phaser capacitors of the tournament and this package has only two heavy weapons. As a result, it *will* get creamed if it dives into range four against anybody who is prepared for it. Also watch out for the opponent's hack-and-slash technique of firing phasers at close range in the last impulses of the turn and then turning/hetting into you early in the turn to unload their overloads.

Getting Cornered. It takes so much maneuvering room to get out of a corner, that an opponent can parallel your course at moderate ranges, and pin you to the wall with their weapons. You usually want to be moving very quickly so you might juke them and so you'll be able to get the most 60° turns out of the current allocation. At those speeds, however, then your drones aren't much of a deterrent (he's probably moving quickly enough to outrun them). In this case, try to launch a full brace of drones just before they fire on you. Chances are that they won't be able to juke them since they'll be trying not to hit the wall themselves, and the drones might absorb some of their fire.

Overly Aggressive Opponent. It's entirely possible that an opponent might decide that he's got enough phasers to knock out your drones and more heavy weapons than you do. Cases like that might convince an opponent to simply go for the head-on approach. Depending on the ship, this could be very effective (e.g. the Hydran - which benefits from such captains anyways, or the Fed - with their large phaser array). Once they have reached close range, all of the problems of the Knife Fight begin to show themselves. The only real counter to this tactic is to pour the energy into shield reinforcement and hope to anchor them for the drones that you launched before the racks got killed.

Package: B-Rack, B-Rack, Plasma F, Plasma F

I don't have much experience with this package, as it is more of a thought-experiment. The idea is that the roll of the dice so often favors one player over another during the game. So what would it take to reduce the number of die-rolls to their minimum amount? Seeking weapons are an obvious key. (As a side note, the "Bubble Pig" (ESG, Plas-F, Plas-F) is another good example of keeping dice to a minimum.)

This is an obvious close-and-anchor package. As such, there are several weaknesses to it. The first weakness, is that you must withstand the fire of the opponent before you reach a range in which you can anchor and/or launch at him. If he cloaks or is able to turn away with a high speed after firing, he may force you to withstand another barrage before you can achieve the range you need. If he does this often enough, you may not be able to do enough damage to him after achieving your goal.

The advantage to this package is that it has an excellent power curve on all but the plasma-arming turns. This should be used for speed, tractors, and reinforcement. Another advantage is that the plasmas may be given up in damage first, to protect your (presumably full) drone racks, yet you are still dangerous for the next few impulses.

With your constant high speed, you should have him in anchor range by turn 3. Beware of all the things he can do to mess you up once you have the car by the bumper: wild weasels, a HET past you, or a close-range overloaded alpha-strike. Much of this can be alleviated by tractoring him at a range he didn't expect or by reinforcing heavily - perhaps with a speed change to a lower speed for the extra power and to throw him off of when he expected to meet you.

Other Packages

There are many other packages to choose from. The Option Mount Discussion for the NetKill tournament is a good place to see what works and what does not work.